So here we go again. Because Hakim played that one year at Tarleton State, he was eligible to participate in Tarleton's Pro Day workout. Well, the Cowboys now saw his name on the draft eligible list, and as it turns out only the Cowboys and the Saints were there for the Pro Day, and get this, because the wind was blowing so hard that day and Tarleton didn't have an indoor facility, the workout was moved to Aledo High School's indoor facility.
As Hall tells the story, he and the Saints guy are timing his 40, "and it was one of those, 'Did you get what I just got looks' we gave each other after he ran the first time." Hall had Hakim at 4.32. The Saints guy had him at 4.29. So he runs again. This time the Saints scout has him at 4.26 and Hall at 4.29.
Being the wise scouts they were, the first thing they did after clocking such mind-boggling times was measure the distance to make sure Hakim really was running 40 yards. Yep, 40 yards to the inch.
Well, because Hakim had gone to Palomar, a junior college, and was living in San Diego, he also was eligible to work out at a hometown college Pro Day, and shows up at San Diego State's Pro Day three weeks later. Cowboys West Coast scout Sam Garza is there, and some guy unbeknownst to him, Hakim, runs a 4.33, causing Garza to pull a Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid "who is this guy" routine. Like, he's thinking somehow he missed Saalim Hakim during the 2011 season.
Now this time the cat is out of the bag, and more than just the Saints and Cowboys were at this Pro Day workout. A whole bunch of teams were there to witness his speed.
The Cowboys put a draftable grade on Hakim, sixth- to seventh-round range. Of course he went undrafted, and when it was time to start calling those rookie free agents, the Cowboys jumped right on the phone following Fassel's recommendation, as did a bunch of other teams. Remember, it's that speed.
As this improbable story continues, Hakim's decision came down to two teams, the Cowboys and the Saints, and after listening to Cowboys COO and Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones' sales pitch on the phone, he chose the Cowboys, where he deep down wanted to go all along. And there he was during Friday's first practice, out there with the Cowboys seven draft choices, five first-year players eligible for the minicamp, 20 other rookie free agents and the 15 workout guys here for the weekend.
You guessed it, because mostly he could run, not a teachable commodity.
"Saalim isn't one of those guys they're looking at because of their production, he's one of the guys they want because of potential," Tarleton coach Cary Fowler told the Stephenville Empire Tribune. "He can fly, he can catch and he's got size."
So a long shot, yep, you bet, to become one of maybe the five or six receivers to likely make the roster or even the one or two added to the practice squad, a more reasonable possibility. But remember, right now, in the Cowboys seemingly never-ending search for that third receiver, right back in the same place they were this time last year, think of it this way. Of the guys in this race for at least three open spots following Bryant and Miles Austin, only one, Kevin Ogletree, has caught an NFL pass, and but 25 at that in his three seasons with the team – 15 of those last year. Plus, his less-than inspiring performance in 2011 was not enough incentive for the Cowboys to give him a restricted free-agency qualifying offer, instead signing him back to a one-year, fourth-year minimum contract when he found no other takers in unrestricted free agency.
Then after that, when it comes to other receivers under contract, there are last year's sixth-round pick Dwayne Harris, who only returned punts in 2011, and those two returning rookie free agents, Andre Holmes and the recovering Raymond Radway. They have yet to play their first NFL game, and remember Williams, the world class sprinter who has spent the past two seasons on the practice squad bouncing between cornerback and wide receiver, has been moved back to cornerback.
That's it ... for now that is, since there always could be another Laurent Robinson-type lurking out there after the final cuts.
But hey, when it comes to Saalim Hakim, who knows where this